Event apps are quickly becoming mainstays in the event industry. In fact, surveys show that 83% of event organizers use event apps, and 78% agree that apps contribute to the event’s ROI. But what are the benefits of using an event app for your next event?
As leaders in event technology, Canapii has seen the value of event apps firsthand. We’ve developed our solutions to help you increase engagement, boost ROI, and create positive experiences, all from your users’ devices.
Here’s a closer look at how event apps can benefit your event outcomes.
In the past, events were highly targeted to cater to one type of individual. For organizers, the only goal was to get the greatest number of attendees. They used a standard marketing message across all of their promotions that targeted their ideal guest.
But now, attendees are more discerning about the types of events they attend. Demographics have shifted in recent years. With Gen Z entering the workforce and attending professional events, along with economic shifts and a growing abundance of online resources, events are setting new expectations for attendees.
In response, marketers are focusing more on individualized messaging rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. They’re connecting with multiple personas with multiple needs.
Event apps can help organizers better understand their guests. They can learn more about why guests decided to attend an event and what they expect to get out of it. Find clues through how they engage and the content they engage with. As you learn more about your audience and their priorities, you can tailor your event activities to match.
Your event app can help you boost event revenue in several ways. First up: sponsorship value.
You can sell banner ads to sponsors as part of your event marketing packages. Sponsorships become more valuable if you can include them in a sponsor directory within the app. Directories allow you to highlight every sponsor and even link to their websites or landing pages. Sponsors may be willing to pay for more exposure or larger ads, which can also help you increase revenue.
Event organizers might also enable in-app purchases from event goers. For instance, users may be able to upgrade their experience or snag special deals that go on sale during the event. An event feed can also be a prime place to post affiliate links or offers. Users that click directly through your links to make a purchase will help to fund your event.
And if you plan on using the app for future events, your event app turns into a powerful marketing tool. Use it to send notifications to previous attendees and advertise what’s coming up next. This can save you a lot of money on marketing since you’ll have a ready-made audience.
One of the key reasons why event organizers implement an app is the ease of logistics. From an organizational standpoint, there’s no easier way to share information before, during, and after the event than through an app.
Share messages faster and more cost effectively. One message goes to all your attendees (or a segment of your list, if it’s an exclusive message). Since most people carry their smartphones with them everywhere, there’s a greater chance your message will be received in a timely manner.
When all of your communications go digital, you can save big on print marketing fees. Sending updates, announcements, flash sales, special offers, or other content to users through the app means not having to print flyers or pass out hardcopy maps of the exhibit hall, for example.
So much of an event’s print collateral expires as soon as the event is over. Much of it ends up in the landfill, never to be seen again. But when all of your event content is preserved in a digital app, users can easily refer back to it after the event concludes. This helps your content keep working for you, completely waste-free.
Here’s a reason to implement an event app — your attendees expect you to.
A few years ago, event apps were considered nice to have. But as more events have been implementing them, attendees have come to expect them just as much as they expect events to have a website and social media accounts.
Having an app is not negotiable. Attendees rely on them to help them find their way around, keep tabs on the event schedule, connect with other attendees, and share their experiences during the event.
When done correctly, your event app makes the entire event more accessible. They can take full advantage of everything that’s happening, even if they’re not there in person. When they can enjoy the full potential of their event, they’re more likely to return (and maybe bring a friend).
Event analytics has become just as essential as website analytics — you need to know the data behind every event so you can build on your successes.
In the past, collecting data about your event was fairly limited. You could see how many people attended and compare that to how many people signed up. You could send out feedback surveys and visually gauge whether people were having a good time. You might take a headcount during each session or check your P&L statement to see how much profit you made.
No matter what information you collected, it was a mostly manual process. There was lots of potential for error, and it required lots of help to accomplish.
Event apps have changed how you analyze your event’s success. Instead of doing manual headcounts and gauging audience sentiment, your event app can help you dive deeper into every user’s experience. For instance, you can see what content is getting the most traction. Find your most engaged attendees and uncover their priorities for the event.
With Canapii, you can get real-time analytics and insights into your event so you can make adjustments as you go. Find ways you can cut costs or drive more revenue to make your event as successful as it can be, all while using your event’s unique data.
As any event organizer knows, your event isn’t all about you. It’s about your attendees. Otherwise, why have an event in the first place?
You want your attendees to get something out of the event and focusing on the user experience ensures you create an event that your users will enjoy. An event app is a big part of this, as it will help them to take advantage of everything your event has to offer.
The event app becomes the go-to for attendees to “self-service” their questions, concerns, and needs. From learning about the various speakers and sessions to managing their time to personalizing their experience, apps play a valuable role in augmenting every aspect of your event.
That said, the app interface has a lot to do with how users experience your event. Making certain features and functions available to attendees is useless if they struggle to use the app. Event apps should be well designed for any user to navigate and take full advantage of all of its features.
Events are big business. And now, thanks to virtual and hybrid technologies that allow for remote attendance, more people are attending more events than ever before. That makes for some stiff competition for event hosts, which means you’ll need to take every opportunity to stand out.
An event app can help. Even though many attendees expect events to have an app, not all events do. You can set the tone for your event by offering an app and encouraging users to download and use it even before the event starts. This gives users time to get to know your brand, event, and speakers. Make a strong first impression and stand out from other events in your niche.
Speaking of making a strong impression, nothing helps you set the tone for an event like your brand. From logos and colors to the overall ambiance of the event, this is a golden opportunity to help people get to know your brand and what your company or organization is all about.
A custom event app should match the brand of the event. For instance, you can deploy the same graphics you’re using on your printed materials to the app to create a consistent look and feel.
Branded events help to establish trust, increase event recall, and foster positivity. When an event is designed well, your attendees will be impressed and more likely to engage. And since you’re putting in all the work, time, and resources, why wouldn’t you want your brand to take center stage?
Even with ready-made apps like Canapii, you can include your logo and other branding elements to make your app look like an extension of your brand, not ours.
Event apps thrive on content. Going beyond interactive maps and sponsorship directories, apps offer an abundance of ways to create and share content with event goers.
For instance, in the days leading up to your event, you might share some helpful blog articles within the app. These blogs can help attendees plan for and maximize their experience. You might also share important event updates, highlight your sponsors and speakers, and draw attention to certain aspects on the main app feed.
Other opportunities include:
The app acts as a centralized anchor for all of your content, including user-generated content. Instead of having to post content on social media, your website, landing pages, and email blasts, you can direct all of your content to the app. This can save you time and hassle and free up more resources for the rest of your event.
We’re in a unique era of data security and privacy. Nowadays, more users are concerned about the content they share online and how businesses share their data. This concern certainly extends to the events they attend. Users want to know their data is secure.
Event apps can help to fill this gap. Unlike typical event collateral, all of your event content can live within the app. Mobile apps may include security features, such as user authentication that only allows registered users to receive event-related content. Permission-based communications help to keep data secure while also adding a level of exclusivity to your event.
When it comes to event apps, organizers have two options: build it or buy it.
Building an app usually means getting exactly what you want. Everything is made to specification, but that can also take a lot of time, thought, and trial and error.
A better solution is Canapii. We’ve built a powerful event app infrastructure that’s ready for your finishing touches. Customize the app with your brand and the features and functions that matter to you. Include your favorite integrations, gamify your event, or cater to a virtual or hybrid audience. Upload your own content, send push notifications, and spur engagement at every opportunity. It’s your event app your way, without the time, cost, and hassle of a custom app.
Canapii is ready to help you take your event to the next level. Get in touch today!